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John Oliver had a message for his fellow white people about Black hair discrimination on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, but as the HBO host himself acknowledged, the message wasn’t exactly his to share.
“I realize I’m not the ideal person to talk about Black hair. I look like I still go to an old-timey barber named Valentino and ask for ‘the tidy Liza Minnelli,'” Oliver joked.
“While social stigma and unrealistic beauty standards aren’t going to go away overnight, there are a few things that white viewers in particular might want to keep in mind going forward,” Oliver said, prefacing the PSA. “And to that end, if you are one, there’s a message you should probably hear.”
In came the trio of actors, kicking things off by listing white people’s frequently asked questions: “How often do you have to wash Black hair?” “What is a silk press?” “What does a do-rag do?”
Their answer to all of these questions was a simple one: “Google it.”
“Fucking Google it!” Robinson and Jones emphasized, with the latter noting, “It can be fucking Bing, YouTube, Wikipedia, I don’t give a shit. And once you get the information, you can appreciate all the beauty and hard work it takes to keeping my hair laid and looking good.”
“Look, white people, don’t tell me you can’t figure this out on your own, you figured out Settlers of Catan,” Robinson joked.
Added Aduba, “You figured out sourdough bread last year, I think you can Google the word ‘weave.'”
According to Jones, “fucking off is always an option,” too.
Prior to the star-studded segment, Oliver gave viewers a history lesson on the decades of hair discrimination Black people have faced and advocated for the CROWN (Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act, which would ensure protection against discrimination.
“The point is, Black hair shouldn’t be viewed, corralled or judged by white people’s comfort because it doesn’t belong to white people, it doesn’t affect white people, and white people really shouldn’t have an opinion on it,” Oliver explained. “And our laws should reflect that.”
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